It’s a wet and miserable Monday night in Manchester, but the evening is about to get a little more colourful as Marilyn Manson is kicking off his run of UK dates here at the Apollo. The queue before the doors open snakes right around the building, and there is more black eye liner on display than on the Debenhams ground floor. Mazza still knows how to pull the punters in.
Those who get in early are treated to Amazonica to warm up the crowd. Yep, a DJ instead of a support band. Dirty Harry on the decks playing some rapidly moving mash-ups is certainly a little unusual, but as she belts out some bass heavy tunes from the likes of White Zombie there’s plenty to enjoy.
As usual, the black curtain goes up to hide whatever is being prepared on stage before Manson’s arrival. And as expected, his arrival is typically a late one. Just an extra half hour wait before his billed time.
When the black curtain finally falls down to the floor, we’re greeted by Marilyn in a snazzy wheelchair/throne. He’s still suffering from his little accident with those stage props in the summer and it looks like the crossed guns are now just painted onto the back-drop rather than the heavy monstrosity of a centre-piece that snapped his leg when it fell on him. Seems like a good plan.
If Marilyn Manson still had any element of danger left in his shows, seeing him trundling around on a pimped up motor scooter strips him of most of his menace. It’s certainly going to be a challenge to ignite the atmosphere while he’s motoring around like a goth Stephen Hawking.
Thankfully, he doesn’t remain seated for all of the show. He plays the majority of the night stood up hobbling around on a leg frame and he spends a good while chained to a bed while his onstage docs restrain him. While his lack of mobility does remove some of the impact of the live show, the band do their best to keep the energy up and it takes little away from the quality of the tunes on offer.
‘This Is the New Shit’, ‘Disposable Teens’ and ‘mOBSENE’ is one hell of a way to hit the ground running and ‘Kill4Me’ is a welcome addition to the setlist. The light show is always grand at the Apollo and the band look spectacular up there as Manson conducts them in an Alice Cooper style fashion.
The set meanders into a more mellow turn towards the middle of the show but ‘The Dope Show’ with a little bit of ‘I Don’t Like the Drugs…’ mixed in, sounds majestic tonight and is a real highlight. The jam-packed crowd also bring their finest voices to ‘Sweet Dreams’ which is yet another stand-out part of the night.
They come back out for the encore which concludes in the inevitable rabble-rouser ‘Beautiful People’ which has everyone moving one last time.
Manson gets quite chatty at some points tonight, the best bit is when he apologises for his disabled condition but adds that “His dick still works!’ The old charmer…